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Home Boxing MY FAVORITES - Paul Williams - Andre Ward
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MY FAVORITES - Paul Williams - Andre Ward

paul-williams-paul-williamsHere are two more personal favorites, and there are many more that will be added to this list as I continue to rack up fighters to appreciate.  Starting to like Seth Mitchell, Thomas Oosthuizen, Austin Trout, and Sergio Martinez.  It is recent enough that they don't apply here, or I have cheered against them at least once.  On this list, there are only fighters I always side with, no matter the opponent.

Paul Williams
Like Corrales, a tragic end to his career will add to his legend in fans' eyes.  However, also like Corrales, it is not necessary in order to love and appreciate him.  He can still say he has beaten every man he has fought, holds the last victory over pound for pound great Sergio Martinez, and went out on a victory.  Even if most, including myself, thought he lost to Erislandy Lara, he deserved to make the money he was headed for against Canelo Alvarez.  

He deserved it for fighting in an aggressive style that belied his height and reach advantages.  He deserved it for showing a good chin even though his body type suggested otherwise.  He deserved it for legitimately beating a loaded-gloved Antonio Margarito without excuses.  He deserved it for avenging his loss to Carlos Quintana with a one-round KO.  He deserved it for one sided victories over Winky Wright and Verno Phillips... guys who were always supposed to be competitive.  Most of all, he deserved it for giving his all... fighting every minute of every round, and truly earning his paychecks.

Andre Ward
He crosses boundaries that are supposed to be uncrossable.  He won gold against a system set up to stop US fighters from doing so.  He sells enough tickets at home that European fighters come to him, not the other way around.  He connects with the badasses of his hometown of Oakland, even though he is a god-fearing family man.  As a gold medalist in 2004, he did not play up his father's death, nor his bi-racial heritage.  He went home quietly with his gold medal, and built up his pro-career under the now very intelligent guidance of Dan Goossen and Virgil Hunter.  

He is the only fighter on my list who is still active, but I have yet to cheer against him, and cannot see myself doing so anytime soon.  He seems to be guaranteed a great future, as long as he maintains the style he has now... one of adaptation.  His style is to ruin your style, and the last guy I said that about, was Joe Calzaghe... another who never lost.  Even in delivering interviews and commentary, Ward seems to get better each time out.

Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

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